Pop! Pop! Bam! Bam! by Sally O. Lee

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Just over a year ago, the nation was shocked by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Twenty-six people (most of them children) were left dead in a place where everything is supposed to be safe and happy. Unfortunately, we live in a world where violence plays a role.

Sally O. Lee’s latest book, Pop! Pop! Bam! Bam! is the story of a school shooting as told through the eyes of a student and a teacher and how they cope as they make their way to safety. With Lee’s recognizable illustrations and her lyrical prose, the events unfold until both are safe and sound.

What I feel is very important to say about this book is the calm manner in which the reader moves from beginning to end. The only portion of it that is punctuated with exclamation points is the sound of gun fire, and that only appears twice. The main focus is on the conversation between this student and the teacher. Lee also quickly moves from lockdown status (hiding under desks and then moving to a closet) to the rescue, so the protection and safety aspect of the event are a greater focal point.

I applaud Lee for tackling this sensitive issue. I hope many are helped as a result.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1494469448
ISBN-13: 978-1494469443

 

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Circle and Square by Sally O Lee

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Sally O. Lee is back with another imaginative, unique creation. When circle meets square, circle is curious if square is always the same: brushing his teeth, bouncing a ball, at bathtime, and in other situations. Square assures circle that he’s always the same no matter what he’s doing. Simple in nature, this story is one of friendship and acceptance. Parents could even use this book as a teaching point for how their love remains constant no matter what happens.

A delightful story coupled with Lee’s adorable artwork is waiting for your young reader in Circle and Square.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1482676850
ISBN-13: 978-1482676853

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

The Carrot King by Sally O. Lee

The waiting is over! Sally O. Lee has a new book out and you’ll certainly want to add it to your collection. The Carrot Kingis all about having the right perspective. A small boy becomes king after the death of his parents. He doesn’t want to be king. All he wants to do is eat his carrots and play with his toys. One afternoon, the small king stumbles upon a boy whose family is so poor all they eat are potatoes and beans. Their friendship helps the small king to see he truly enjoys his role as king.

I was thrilled to receive an email from Sally telling me she has a new book out. I signed up to review it right away. I have almost every one of her books since The Cake Thief. In this charming tale of friendship, a small king learns that troubles come to everyone and it’s nice to help out a friend. Sally’s beautiful folk art type illustrations add so much to this story. I’ve always loved her attention to detail. In this book, it is the king’s cat who appears on almost every page of the story. The first letter of the first word on every page is built by carrots, just like on the cover. Sally has such a unique style, it would be difficult not to know a book was hers even if you didn’t see her name on the cover.

It’s no surprise that so many of Sally’s books are award-winners. She writes charming stories that kids love.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Paperback:38 pages
  • Publisher:CreateSpace (January 19, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1466469838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466469839

I received a free paperback copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for my review.

Top 10 Picture Books of 2011

This took longer than expected. As I mentioned in my last post, selections this year were hard. In addition, I discovered I needed to segregate picture books for little kids (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) from those for school-age children. While some books could overlap between the two age groups, there was no way for me to compile a fair list if I lumped them all into one group. For books where I couldn’t find an age listing, I put them where I felt they fit best. I’ll start off with my Top 10 for the youngest category and then list the Top 10 in the older category.

Top 10 Picture Books for Preschoolers and under

  • Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido van Genechten
  • A Cat’s Alphabet Book by Sally O. Lee
  • My Daddy by Guido van Genechten
  • Going to the Beach with Lily and Milo and Going to the Zoo with Lily and Milo by Pauline Oud (I reviewed these together, so I am counting them as one.)
  • One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano
  • Oops! by Leo Timmers
  • 1-2-3- Count with Me and A is for Apple by Georgie Burkett (Again, I reviewed these together and count them as one.)
  • Ricky is Brave by Guido van Genechten
  • Thankyouplease by Pierre Winters and Barbara Ortelli
  • Ian’s New Potty by Pauline Oud

There are repeat names on this list, but I felt these authors and publishers truly knew how to create books attractive to this market.

Top 10 Books of 2011 for Ages 3 and up

  • A Dog is A Dog by Stephen Shaskan
  • My Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllister
  • Will & Kate: A Love Story by Ink Robin
  • Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner
  • The Butt Book by Artie Bennett
  • Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey
  • The Dancing Clock by Steve Metzger
  • Humbug, A Christmas Carol by Lee Baker
  • My Name is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry
  • Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose

Honorable Mentions

  • A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall
  • Frederico, The Mouse Violinist by Mayra Calvani
  • The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
  • Marta’s Gargantuan Wings by J. Aday Kennedy
  • Every-Day Dress-Up by Selina Alko
  • Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever by Julianne Moore
  • Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
  • Don’t Worry Douglas! by David Melling
  • Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother by Dixie Phillips
  • Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure
  • Secret Service Saint by Janet Ann Collins
  • Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann 

A Cat’s Alphabet Book by Sally O. Lee

Sally O. Lee is back with another creative and artistic title. Preschoolers are sure to enjoy A Cat’s Alphabet Book. Lee is the author and illustrator of over 20 books. Some of my girls’ favorite books come from Lee (The Cake Thief, The Rabbit and the Snowman, The Tutu Ballet).

A Cat’s Alphabet Book is a primer filled with Lee’s beautiful artwork. The friendly kitty seen on the cover appears on each page. From apple to kite, and from lemons to zebra, preschoolers will enjoy turning pages as they learn their alphabet. As an added bonus, readers are asked to find the “Lee” signature in each illustration. What fun! Toward the end there is a page that includes all the letters of the alphabet. The last page asks readers what other words they know that begin with these letters, allowing the learning to keep going after they finish the book.

While this book is much too young for my girls, I am holding onto it to share with my nephew when he’s old enough. I hope little Harry will be a Sally O. Lee fan too!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

  • Publisher:CreateSpace
  • ISBN-10:1456469088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456469085
  • SRP:  $12.99

 

The Tutu Ballet by Sally O. Lee

Sally O. Lee is back with a new book about a unique ballet that my children have asked me to read them time and again.

In The Tutu Ballet, Belinda the bear, Mirabel the mouse, Harriet the hare and Fillippo the fox are ready to dance for their ballet teacher, Ms. Berry. The problem is that Ms. Berry can’t get them all to do the same steps. How will Ms. Berry put together a dance for the recital that lets everyone do their favorite things?

Each story from Lee is more delightful than the last. Her charming illustrations and easy to understand stories of friendship and problem solving are sure to become favorites with your children. As with The Cake Thief and The Rabbit and the Snowman, this new book both entertains and educates.  If you own one Sally O. Lee book you’ll want to own them all. I can’t wait until I open my mailbox and find another Sally O. Lee book inside! 
The Tutu Ballet will make a great gift for your young dancer, but any young reader will enjoy it.

 

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1439209162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439209165
  • SRP:  $17.99 (U.S.)

The Rabbit and the Snowman by Sally O. Lee

A charming tale of enduring friendship awaits you and your child in The Rabbit and The Snowman by Sally O. Lee.

One day a group of children walk many miles from their home and travel deep in the forest to a field and build a snowman. The children leave and the snowman waits for their return. But they never come back. Maybe there is something wrong with him. Then one day, a small rabbit bounces over to the snowman and they become friends. Winter turns to spring and the rabbit looks for his snowman friend, but he can’t find him. Why would his friend leave? Maybe there is something wrong with him. But when winter returns again to the field, the rabbit finds the snowman waiting to talk to him and their friendship is renewed.

Young children and parents will adore this heartwarming story of everlasting friendship. As with Lee’s book, The Cake Thief, young readers learn valuable skills to help them interact with peers: acceptance, how to enjoy the little things in life and compassion.

Lee’s illustrations in The Rabbit and The Snowman bring this story to life. Subtle, soft greens and purples mix with carrot orange and the black of coal to awe your child. My girls couldn’t stop talking about how pretty the pictures are.

The one challenge I had was with the text. The selected font made it difficult to distinguish commas from periods and on the colored pages I found the letter “r” hard to identify.

A delightful story that children will enjoy reading time and again, The Rabbit and The Snowman by Sally O. Lee might just become a classic.

 

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1419656252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419656255
  • SRP:  $17.99